Comprising a conference, a film festival, a music festival, a games festival and an exhibition, the conference alone has more than 850 speakers on the program, with the cost of attendance less than attending a business events conference if you’re not an association member.
The conference speaker list has a near-overwhelming number of names drawn from an incredible variety of workplaces and industries. Elisa Quintana, an astrophysicist from NASA Goddard’s Space Flight Center sits alongside Justin Hemmes, Merivale’s CEO. Tom Verrilli, the ex-chief product officer of streaming platform Twitch is on the program, as is Tushar Menon, CEO and co-founder of meal delivery service, My Muscle Chef. The CEO of music festival Cochella, the tour marketing manager for Secret Sounds – organisers of Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival – and leaders and technology experts from Amazon Web Services, the Australian Stock Exchange, Atlassian, Uber, Canva, Humanitix, Zip Co, Google and Facebook’s parent company Meta are all in the line-up.
Headline speakers include actress Nicole Kidman, Chance The Rapper and Charlie Brooker, the creator of television series Black Mirror. Australian director, producer and writer Baz Luhrmann has just been announced as joining the festival – he’ll appear on the closing night of the film festival, premiering Faraway Downs, a new long-cut of his 2008 epic film Australia.
On the events industry side, micenet spotted a smattering of experience industry professionals throughout the program, including senior creative director at Imagination, Dan Simon, head of cultural intelligence at New Moon, Alex Tran, Tom Rischbieth, head of commercial and events at Football Australia, and Belinda Keay, operations and event director for Big Bash Leagues at Cricket Australia.
Meanwhile event agency INVNT has flagged their involvement, as a partner of SXSW, they’ll be curating and hosting the Discovery Stage, which focuses on innovation and future-thinking at the Tech and Innovation Expo at ICC Sydney in the latter part of next week.
“Adopting our mantra of ‘Challenge Everything’, we’re setting ourselves the challenge to deliver a stage ignited by ground-breaking innovation that will shape the way we live our lives,” said INVNT Group’s managing director for APAC, Laura Roberts.
“At the core of INVNT sits storytelling – we thrive on sharing stories that are disruptive and inspire the future of creativity. INVNT is thrilled to be partnering with SXSW Sydney to bring on stage the stories of innovators, pioneers, and creators within the ever-changing landscape.”
Accor has also been announced as the official accommodation partner of SXSW Sydney, offering discounted accommodation to attendees. Accor Pacific’s CEO, Sarah Derry, will moderate a panel during the festival exploring the future of travel. Panellists include CEO of Ecotourism Australia, Elissa Keenan, creative director and owner of CHADA, which designs hotel interiors, Juliet Ashworth, and Nick Kavanagh, chief strategy officer for iProspect, which offers business intelligence, marketing activations and strategy.
“We are delighted to be the Official Accommodation Partner of SXSW Sydney,” said Derry. “This collaboration allows us to confirm our commitment to providing exceptional experiences and supporting the arts and innovation communities. Our team is excited to welcome SXSW Sydney participants to our hotels and will ensure they have an unforgettable stay throughout the event.”
Meanwhile, Commonwealth Bank and Qantas are “super sponsors” and Telstra and HP are major sponsors, along with local and international alcohol brands. The event’s partners include everyone from Meta, Snapchat and TikTok to Kwik Kopy, CSIRO, Dr Martins, AWS, BWS, Channel Seven, Salesforce and luxury car brands.